Gurgler Kamm

Situated at the border to Italy in the southeastern part of the Ötztaler Alpen, this biosphere reserve represents a transect from the high montane to the nival zone (1,900 to 3,400 meters above sea level).

Designation Date: 1977
Surface Area:  1,500 ha

Human Activities

The alpine grassland has for more than five centuries been used as pastures for sheep and cattle. Some parts of the area are influenced by overgrazing.

Today, the main impact on the biosphere reserve arises from tourism and the construction of ski lifts and ski slopes.

Ecological Characteristics

The name “Biosphere Reserve” is above all used for areas with outstanding relevance for nature research and protection, but it is also awarded for model regions which show how man and nature can live together.

It comprises ravines, ridges and slopes with boulders, siliceous screes, rocks and permanent glaciers in the higher alpine and nival zone. In the low alpine and high montane zone, siliceous alpine grassland and dwarf shrubs predominate.

Since 1951, mineralogists, geologists and biologists of the University of Innsbruck have intensively investigated the area. About 90 % of the biosphere reserve area is under national protection status as ’Ruhegebiet Ötztaler Alpen’ since 1981.

The same area was in 1995 proposed as Site of Community Importance (pSCI) according to the Habitats Directive and as Special Protected Area (SPA) according to the Birds Directive.

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                                                                                    Last update: January 2014

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